Why law is a good training ground for parenthood (and coding isn’t)

the law prepares you for parenthood

For most of my career I have worked with lawyers and law firms. From software development to IT management. From project management to directing a knowledge department. From event management to social media consulting. I even studied law, but never actually practised. My close proximation to lawyers has led me to believe it’s an excellent training ground for parenthood.

Much more so than coding. 

Why?

  1. Lawyers manage time according to billing blocks. Neat fifteen minute increments. This is much the same way I manage time when my littlest is asleep. I break things up into bite-sized blocks and attempt to race the sleeping clock in a bid to get it all done. When I don’t get all the things done, the person who sometimes believes he is my supervisor asks why I didn’t make budget.
  2. Particularly in the early years, both law and parenthood is thankless, under-paid and often more menial than one was led to believe in the lead up to it all. And those that went before are quite prepared to tell you to “we all went through it — one day you’ll miss it”.
  3. As you progress in both the professions of law and of parenthood you realise that 90% of your role is cleaning up other people’s messes.
  4. Both parents and lawyers need to be adept in the subtle art of knowing exactly what your client/child wants before they do and have the ability to interpret intelligible demands or risk massive tantrums.
  5. The only people on earth with keener negotiations skills than lawyers are parents. Watch out if your lawyer is a parent — you can’t go wrong.
  6. What you were lead to believe and the reality of your day to day differ greatly. When I went to work for my first firm I thought it would be all Ally McBeal dancing babies, short skirt suits and Law & Order style shennigans. It wasn’t. When I first had a child I thought we’d resemble those blissful Huggies ads with all the great hair, cuddling and white sheets. We didn’t.
  7. Like law, the rewards of parenthood are great. Like law, the hours are terrible.

But parenthood and coding are nowhere near each other.

Why?

  1. I have yet to locate the re-boot button on my children which will solve all problems instantaneously.
  2.  Coding has a predictable outcome. A certain input will always yield a certain output. I have never found this to be the case with my kids.
  3. When I coded, you’d find documentation in every module. Carefully explaining exactly what the code was designed to do, why I made certain decisions and assumptions. I have yet to find the specific documentation for my children. Oh, there is plenty of generic material out there, but no-one wrote the definitive guide book on my particular boys.
  4. Projects can be planned. Neat little milestones can be set. I tried to apply that approach with my first pregnancy. I came into appointments with a ring binder carefully charting every aspect of my pregnancy. The receptionist would smirk “first time mother then?”  My son come into the world four weeks early. On Christmas Eve. I gave up project managing my children immediately.
  5. With the exception of a few easily resolved runtime errors, I wrote code and it did exactly what I told it to do. I made babies and they rarely do what I tell them to do.

Arrow 2

Which jobs do you think prepare you for parenthood?
Which are a far cry from it?

 

Linking up with Essentially Jess and IBOT

 

38 thoughts on “Why law is a good training ground for parenthood (and coding isn’t)

    • Robyna says:

      It’s like we have the same career path almost! I love coding for that reason too – so soothing. All the things doing what you tell them to do.

  1. Renee Wilson says:

    Very clever! Hmm my short foray into cold calling I suppose was a good grounding for parenthood. Brushing aside those hang ups, rude remarks and down right screamy people could be what has helped me handle my darlings when they’re not so nice. Either that or they’re just so bloody cute I can’t help it 🙂
    Renee Wilson recently posted…Big little sister – Go Go Pepe giveawayMy Profile

  2. Melinda @ United States of Mama says:

    LOL, it’s just cleaning up other people’s mess and those same people NOT doing what you tell them to do. I miss my teaching days when I said ‘jump’ and most of the kids in the room did so. Now say I ‘jump’ and am universally ignored. You make coding sound fairly glamourous by the way- much more so than child rearing 🙂
    Melinda @ United States of Mama recently posted…Five Indicators Your Child’s Teacher Hates You.My Profile

  3. Janet aka Middle Aged Mama says:

    Haha love the point “90% of lawyering and parenting is cleaning up other people’s messes”! I trained as a primary school teacher, and even worked as one briefly. That was fantastic preparation for parenthood. As in, it was so bad that it made parenting my own kids seem easy 😉

    Visiting from #teamIBOT x

  4. kit@lifethroughthehaze says:

    This is great Robyna!

    I think a disaster recovery expert would be another career that sounds a whole lot more glamorous than it is. It sounds like you could swoop in and everyone will be so happy to see you as you fix whatever may have happened. Often though the disaster can potentially be of their own making and they won’t like the resolution.

    Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a reboot button on kids. Of course what happens if the reboot doesn’t work and changes nothing which occasionally occurs.

    xoxo

    • Robyna says:

      You can’t even turn them off and back on again! I actually did some DR work during the Brisbane floods. It was really interesting and quite exciting.

  5. Beth at AlmostPosh.com says:

    I’m an executive assistant and this definitely prepared me in some ways for parenthood; organising the lives of people who are – to be honest – a bit useless at sorting their own schedules or managing their travel or even dressing themselves adequately sometimes. Organisation and planning skills, event management, managing competing priorities, being on call . . . all good practice!
    Beth at AlmostPosh.com recently posted…Posh Picks: Rediscover KatiesMy Profile

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